The man apologized as he sat in the previous knight’s seat, "Let me apologize for my subordinate’s rudeness. I'm really sorry."
I waved away the man's apology. "No, it’s alright." I was thinking about sneaking in at night and half-killing him anyways.
He shook his head, not noticing what I was thinking. "No, my subordinate will certainly receive disciplinary action in the name of my White Deer knight division.”
When he said that, I felt sorry for my previous thought to half-kill him. Of course, that didn’t mean I was going to not half-kill him. Discipline is discipline, and revenge is revenge.
More importantly, I was surprised this man was the head of the White Deer knights charged with the public security of the capital. Compared to my previous life, it was akin to the police chief coming down to the interrogation room and apologizing to me. That is if you could compare the knights to the police.
"Pelgrant. He's been my friend since childhood. I heard that you saved my friend's life. Truly, thank you,” the man said.
I was surprised once more by the knight division captain’s thanks. The director’s connections were more widespread and higher-ranked than expected. At the same time, his friend's personality seemed respectable, but I couldn't tell how the director’s personality became so twisted.
"No, I'm glad to hear that there is no risk to his life."
When he saw my smile, the captain of the knights gave a slightly astounded look. "The trainees under him are usually cursing at him to go die, but it seems you have an impressive personality."
Ah, it seemed that as a friend, he knew full well of the director’s personality.
The knight captain pulled a pile of papers out of his desk’s drawer and said, "Hmmhmm, I'm sorry, but I'll have to interrogate you from now on. Oh, that doesn't mean that I think you're the criminal. It's more of a procedural necessity.”
This meant that he didn't think I was the criminal, but he also didn't believe I wasn’t the criminal. In other words, he was saying that if there were enough reason to suspect my guilt, I would be accused of being the criminal.
"First of all, the hergamorphins you used were not something a typical trainee would have. I’ll ask directly, why did you have it?”
I had all sorts of miscellaneous things in my pocket space, especially materials related to magic.
"Actually, I was going to put it in Director Pelgrant's tea and feed it to him."
"...What?" The knight captain looked dumbfounded. My words could be misleading at first.
I continued before the knight captain could analyze the situation, "Hergamorphins have an effect of causing an upset stomach. Knight captain also seems to know of this, but I wanted a little payback for his nagging and all the strange things he made me do for the last three days.”
The knight captain’s face briefly appeared understanding before it disappeared as he asked, "Then where is the source of the hergamorphin?"
I cunningly responded to the expected question. In the first place, it was natural to ask for their source, as hergamorphin was a medicinal herb not available from a market stall.
"They’re from my hometown. As you can see from my ID, my hometown is the Dume mountain range, and I usually pick herbs around there.”
In fact, the items that my hometown mainly dealt with were by-products of demons, but it was not entirely a lie because magicians led by elder Mirpa sold herbs that we collected to the Empire. My words were not easy to prove, so the knight captain frowned.
Then I added, "For reference, hergamorphins are not even plants prohibited by Empire law, and they do not require a license to handle and trade." It was just that this herb was a bit of a rarity and wouldn’t grow anywhere except near Olympus forest.
"Hmm, you're a civil servant trainee. This means you haven't left the capital, so where is the person who gave or sold you the herb?"
"Who knows? Maybe he's heading back to his hometown by now? It's already been more than 15 days since I bought the herb." Actually, he’s right in front of you. I dug it up myself.
"So you're saying that you acquired the medicinal herb before you were assigned your probationary location," the knight said.
His eyes were quite piercing. I suppose not many people would just ignore their friend’s issues, but if looks could cut, I would have been a thousand pieces by now.
"Yes, I learned alchemy when I was young. The herb was transported here through the air from my hometown. I wanted to teach my friend some alchemy tricks,” I said.
"Alchemy! That's why you were able to handle it so accurately.”
In this world, alchemists often worked as doctors in areas that lacked temples. Alchemy was closer to oriental medicine than Western medicine. The former used herbal medicine and acupuncture for treatment, while the latter relied more on surgery. In addition, alchemic medicine combined with magic was surprisingly effective.
"I see. Then can you tell me about the friend you’re teaching alchemy to?" The knight captain’s tone seemed to have softened a level.
I obediently nodded. There was no reason not to tell him. Even if I told him, he wouldn’t be able to do anything either way.
"Mmmhmm, Yuria Fendria."
The knight captain wrote down the name I said before muttering as if he had noticed something strange, "Fendria?"
The knight captain’s eyes were filled with a feeling of doubt, "It’s not perhaps the Fendria I know, is it?"
"Well, who is the Fendria that you’re thinking of, knight captain?" I played dumb. Ah ah, a playful smile seemed to keep climbing up my face.
"Is this Yuria, by any chance, white-haired?"
At the man’s slightly trembling voice, I almost burst into laughter, "Not only that, her eyes were red too."
The knight captain was shocked at my words. "You're that talented of an alchemist?"
It was as if he was asking why such an alchemist was not a court magician but instead training to be a civil servant. It seemed there was a chance he might not believe me.
"No, actually, my skills aren’t that great. According to Yuria, her hometown’s environment is not a place where you can learn alchemy to your heart's content. Due to that factor, this novice was given the opportunity to serve the role of teacher for a Butterfly Tribe member. It is a new experience for me,” I said with a pleasant smile.
Actually, in terms of alchemy tricks, she learned it the first time I taught her. At best, all I taught her were some ratios for mixing. The ratio mixing was a little awkward for her because it did not involve mana, but I could say she was fairly talented.
The knight captain did not appear to believe me but finally accepted my explanation when he heard how I addressed myself.
"So when am I able to be freed? I was in the middle of a training evaluation.” The evaluation’s importance for a probationary trainee was quite high, as mistakes could drastically affect one’s chances to get a job.
The knight captain sighed, “Unfortunately, regulations require you to remain in custody for at least a week.”
"I ask for your understanding. This is because the person who was nearly poisoned was given the highest prestige directly from the Emperor."
What nonsense are you saying?
"In fact, the period is only a week because you saved Pelgrant. If you hadn’t, then...” The knight captain said as he trailed off. He was probably going to state at the end that I would have likely been charged as a criminal.
Damn it, I was planning on getting released quickly by using my connection with Yuria, but based on the knight captain’s expression, it seemed Director Pelgrant was a bigger figure than I thought.
This was a very bad sign for me. If Director Pelgrant wasn’t able to regain consciousness and something went wrong, I was certain that there was a high chance of me being accused of the crime.
Perhaps if Yuria or Mrs. Arscilla found out, I might be able to use William or the Prime Minister’s power to get out. If that happened, there was the possibility that my story would get to Uncle Bloody, who knew my face and was close to the other two.
No, in this case, there could be an attempt to get rid of me by branding me as a possibly dangerous person. I don’t know about William, but if it was the person who held me under close surveillance for a month, Arcanta, he could certainly do it.
Now that it had come to this, there was only one solution. "Knight-Captain, can you believe that I'm not the criminal?"
At my question, the knight captain’s eyes opened wide. Then he shook his head, "No, I can't believe it."
The knight captain saying that he ‘can’t’ believe it meant that he didn’t believe me. From his tone, it was close to him saying that he couldn’t conclude anything.
It was both bad and good for me. It was bad because if the culprit was not caught, I could be accused of being the criminal. On the other hand, it was good because I saved the director, so there was a small spot in the knight captain’s heart that wanted to believe me.
I spoke with a smile, "It’s okay if you don't believe in my innocence. No, in fact, you shouldn't believe it."
He looked at me with surprise. Speaking like this could earn trust from someone who appeared so loyal.
“However, I have a favor to ask,” I said.
“What is it?” The knight captain asked.
I put on a confident expression, "Please give me a day. I'll catch the criminal in one day."
The knight captain looked as if he had heard the most absurd bullshit. If it were a stranger who talked like this, it was normal not to believe them, but I'm not normal. I'm going to use any means, including the more illegal kind, to catch the one who f**ked me over.
"As I said before, I’m an alchemist. If it’s matters regarding medicine and poison, I'm confident that I’m better than the knights."
The knight captain’s face appeared to show his desire to listen rather than refuse me. Perhaps it was an opportunity given for saving his friend.
"I’ll ask one more question. Is the analysis of the materials from Director Pelgrant’s vomit complete?"
If the director were an important person, they would have already started analyzing the materials with magic.
The knight captain shook his head at my question. "No, not yet. It'll probably take at least three days to finish the component analysis."
What? It takes that long? It seemed the magician analyzing the materials wasn’t good at all, but that was good for me.
"Three days is too long. While you’re waiting on the analysis, isn't that enough time for the criminal to cover his tracks and run away?"
The knight captain agreed with me, "That’s right."
"If you give me a chance, I'll analyze and obtain the information from Director Pelgrant's vomit."
"How? The vomit is with the court magicians as important evidence. Now that it has been sent over there, even I can't bring it back."
I smiled at the knight captain, "You don't have to bring it here. The information about the vomit’s materials is already in my head."
The knight captain’s expression betrayed his desire to know how I knew this.
I said with a playful smile, "You seem to have forgotten, but I'm the one who administered the stomach wash and used the vomited materials to procure the antidote."Previous Chapter Next Chapter